Leave No Trace
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Leave No Trace
In 1991, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and numerous other private partners joined the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) to become founding partners of a national educational program called Leave No Trace. By teaching your own kids these simple
Camp and travel on durable surfaces. When on the trail, stay on designated paths (don’t try to take shortcuts), and use maps and a compass to eliminate the need for tree ribbons and rock cairns. When making camp, choose an established, legal site that won’t be damaged by your stay (make sure that it’s at least 200 feet from any lakes or
Pack it in. Pack it out. Protect your food, yourself, and the region’s wildlife by securely storing rations. Pick up all spilled foods. Pack everything that you bring into the backcountry out with you.
Properly dispose of what you can’t pack out. To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet from streams and lakes and use a small amount of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dish water. Use toilet paper or wipes sparingly, and pack them out with you. Deposit human waste in catholes dug six to eight inches deep and at least 200 feet
Leave what you find. Treat our natural heritage with respect. Leave plants, rocks, and artifacts as you find them.
Minimize use and impacts of fire. Instead of fires, enjoy a candle lantern for illumination and carry a lightweight stove for cooking. If you do make a fire (only in areas where they are permitted), gather sticks no larger than an adult’s wrist. Use established fire rings, fire pans, or fire mounds. Don’t scar large rocks and overhangs. Put
©2000, Mariah Media Inc.